A NEWPORT Labour councillor who failed to support his party over the free parking issue has avoided suspension, the Argus understands.

Chris Evans, a Labour councillor for Rogerstone, was believed to be facing possible disciplinary action after he abstained from a vote on car parking charges.

But Argus sources have told reporters that a motion, put to the city council Labour group at a meeting on Friday, to suspend Cllr Evans for a period of time failed to pass with a majority of councillors supporting him.

The Rogerstone member had spoken out on a Newport Labour group policy to scrap free parking in council car parks and replace it with a £1 charge for three hours at a council meeting last year.

The Argus has campaigned on the issue and more than 5,000 people signed a petition to keep car parking free.

Cllr Evans himself did not wish to comment yesterday but instead provided a statement.

He said: "The issue was discussed at the Labour group meeting on January 25, and has now been fully resolved."

Jane Mudd, secretary of the Newport Labour group, said: "Discussions within the group remain confidential. I can tell you that there was some discussion on Friday and the matter is now resolved."

Ms Mudd, who is councillor for Malpas, would not expand on the comment.

The disciplinary action is believed to have stemmed from Cllr Evans stemmed from the member abstaining from a vote on car parking at a full council meeting last year.

The motion had been moved by the opposition Conservative group leader Matthew Evans. Other Labour members voted against it.

Cllr Evans gave a speech at that meeting where he said "lip service" had been paid to his voucher system proposal that would have seen £1 parking tickets refunded if money was spent locally.